Been a long time since blogged and rolled Friday, Dec 24 2010 

It’s not that I haven’t CREATED, I just haven’t created the same things.

I have returned to school for a degree in computer graphic design, so much of the past 3 months has been devoted to Photoshop. This collage plays with size.

Puttin' on the RitzMy posts will probably focus more on graphic design for awhile, but I hope they will still be interesting.


Family Quilt Friday, Sep 11 2009 

I love to try out new quilt/art techniques using my family as … well … guinea pigs. I’ve tried this applique process before, but saw a simplified version of it on Quilting Arts TV on September 5. I had good photos of my nephew and his moms, so I thought I would give it a shot. I am pleased with the results.  The photo is modified in Photoshop to create the applique layers, which I created in blues and purples. I also included a small photo of the family on a purple bar. All this was blanket-stitched onto a machine-quilted orange fabric. A few additional splashes of purple at the bottom, add some silver for a bit of flash, and there we have it.

Child in Blue

Child in Blue

Making Collage Papers Sunday, Aug 2 2009 

As I mentioned in my last post, I am working through the book Mixed Mania, trying the techniques the authors, Debbi Crane and Cheryl Prather, describe. In one lesson, Debbi Crane urges mixed media and collage artists to create their own art papers rather than rely on commercial ones. She recommends using a mix of pens, watercolors and water color crayons to get started. My first attempt was a bit time-consuming. Had I used some stamps or textures rather than simply doodling, I could have finished it in  no time. Once I scanned in the doodle, I enhanced it in Photoshop, and liked the image even more. Now I have two different papers, all my own to print and use in my art.

Doodle with watercolor, manipulated in Photoshop

Doodle with watercolor, manipulated in Photoshop

Doodle and watercolor

Doodle and watercolor

Winging It Sunday, Feb 15 2009 

Mixed Media Monday’s challenge comes from Fannie this week. Her challenge: Hearts and Wings.

Gulp! I used hearts in my Romance piece last week.

Fortunately, Diane defined the challenge as Hearts and/or Wings. (Whew!) Consequently, I decided to focus on wings (a sparrow’s wings, to be precise.) An artist I truly admire, Sharon McCartney, wrote an article for the September/October 2008 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. Her article focused on her work with fabric/paper shrines to nature. (Ms. McCartney, I can’t find you on the Web and can’t offer a live link right now, which I truly regret, but I love your work!)

To create this fabric collage, I started with a royalty-free photo of a house sparrow. I took it into PhotoShop, removed the backround, enhanced the colors a bit, and used the watercolor filter to soften the image and provide a more painterly feel to the image. (I am not a painter, though I do want to learn.) I printed the image onto transfer paper (like you use for iron-ons for T-shirts.) I used transfer paper designed for light color fabrics, because the colors of the fabric bleed through and become a part of the image.

I ironed the image onto a piece of fabric I had painted with brown and ocher paints, added borders of cool fabric that has a design that mixes text and drawings, and then fused it to another commercial fabric that had a batik look. After that, I added more novelty fabric designed to look like pages from a dictionary. Then I added some lace that I had dyed to match my painted fabric, and a couple random blocks of the fabric I had cut away. (That was a happy accident. I had tossed the pieces, and saw them laying on the quilt. They were PERFECT and were added to the collage.)

Many of McCartney’s shrines include secondary collaged pieces, so I created a small piece to hang below the main piece. But it needed something more ….

I suddenly remembered a couple pairs of angel wings that I had picked up at a bead shop. I had never known how to use them, so they sat, patiently waiting for me to come up with something. I added one to the top of the main piece and the other to the smaller dropped collage. I used eyelets, buttons and cord to connect the pieces, and there you have Winging It.

Winging It

Winging It

A is for Apple Sunday, Feb 1 2009 

This week’s Mixed Media Monday challenge is “fruit.” Hermine, who offered the challenge, has a lovely piece, using warm colors and nostalgic fruit images and lettering.

In keeping with my effort to stay fabric this year, I wanted to do a small quilted piece. I was fortunate enough to have received my copy of Quilting Arts this week, which has a great article on thread painting by Terry White. Thread painting is sort of a free-motion embroidery technique in which the thread is used, like paint, to build up the color and shape of an image. Terry’s example was an apple, so I thought it would be perfect.

I did not use stabilizer, but used batting instead, and I did not have an embroidery hoop to hold the fabric taut, so I am a bit bumpy. However, I do like the mix of different colors of thread and am pleased with my first attempt at drawing with the sewing machine. (Note: The title was added to the scan of my piece in Photoshop–just to add a little more to the project.


Representing the U.S.A. Sunday, Jan 25 2009 

Mixed Media Monday‘s challenge this week came from Redlan. He invited us to create a piece that represents our country. I thought about recycling my Obama portrait. It shows a number of milestones in U.S. history. Growth and change in my country in which I can take pride. I also considered trying to represent our music, or our art, or our food. But we are a melting pot, and proud of it. I couldn’t narrow any of those down enough to do justice.

Finally, I thought about an attitude/belief that seemed to come out in the latest election: while most Americans live in cities, we see ourselves as rural. We consider ourselves a people of big open spaces. We see ourselves as the heartland. We like to believe we are as wild and open and beautiful as much of the nation’s western regions still remain.

But we keep building. We keep encroaching on our wild places. We are urban.

I took a quote from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that, I think shows how much we want to stay rural, agrarian, free, “I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before.”

And from that quote, I got this:


New Portrait Friday, Jan 2 2009 

I completed a portrait quilt of Pres-elect Obama today. My husband, Kurt, “commissioned” it.

The applique is based on the cut-out filter in photoshop. The background was created in photoshop and tranfered onto fabric. The border is set in a version of a log cabin. The quilt is just under 24″ x 19″.

I would like it to be better. I would like it to be perfect. But it is not. I am not. It is a good piece, though, and I am pleased with the overall look of the quilt.

Barack Obama, with Lincoln and King looking on.

Barack Obama, with Lincoln and King looking on.

Customize your own fabric Monday, Dec 8 2008 

I just heard about a new company that will print fabric to your specifications. I’m not talking about an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet. I’m talking yardage, baby!

Think about it. Wholecloth quilts from photoshop, or from collages scanned into your computer. Perfect panels for purses or individual quilt panels. Holy Moses! What potential.

The cost is still a little high (around $18 a yard), but the fabric is good quilt-quality cotton. Yep. I’m going to have to try this.

Check out Spoonflower to learn more.

What the eye sees Sunday, Nov 23 2008 

Mixed Media Monday chose “The Eyes Have It” for this week’s challenge. I took some eyes from stock photography and let them see the Americas, and the boundaries the U.S. places between us and our neighbors. This is a Photoshop design. Hope you like it.


What’s the point? Monday, Nov 10 2008 

Mixed Media Monday had as its theme this week “The human body or parts thereof.” Seemed simple enough, but as always on the ones where it should be easy, I panic. Too many options swirling in my head. Where to go, what to do. Gee whiz!

Well, I had an image of an acupuncture doll that I thought would work. I experimented with backgrounds in Photoshop, added sun imagery, overlaid text about the history of acupuncture, stamped on the doll image, and — just for good measure — sliced the image to show a cream background. Not sure what this puppy means, per se, but I liked the look, and I hope you do, too.

This is an acupuncture doll.

Does the acupuncture doll make my point?

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